I was reading ‘The God Delusion’ as RD sets up and systematically demolishes every claimed proof for the existence of the Big Man in the sky. Richard Dawkins states in the Preface that ‘if this book works as I intend, religious readers who open it will be atheists when they put it down. What presumptuous optimism! Of course, dyed -in-the-wool faith-heads are immune to argument.’
In Norman Maclean’s book ‘A River Runs Through It’ the first line states ‘In our family, there was no clear line between religion and fly-fishing.’ Nowhere is this more beautifully expressed than in the description of Norman’s last fishing trip with his brother, Paul. Norman watches as his brother fishes for the ‘big fish.’ Norman asks Paul how he figured out where to cast. ‘All there is to thinking,’ Paul says, ‘is seeing something noticeable which makes you see something you weren’t noticing which makes you see something that isn’t even visible.’
I was walking through York with my family and I saw one of those Hell-fire preachers with the placard around his neck calling all people to repentance – the kind of idiot that persuades the undecided that dyed-in-the-wool faith-heads are immune to argument. Two boys were kneeling before him – taking the piss – laughing and asking him to show God to them. It was all thoroughly depressing.
I walked back to my car thinking – show me God, prove you to me. Then I walked past Clifford’s Tower. For those of you unfamiliar with York, England, Clifford’s Tower is a tourist attraction and the site of one this nation’s greatest crimes – namely the 1190 massacre of the town’s Jewish population. There it was, a reminder of the will to power, of all the dark shit that hides inside the heart, soul, cerebral cortex of every man, woman and child. Don’t tell me times have changed, they haven’t. Were still capable of this – just look at newspapers around the world this very day.
I saw the Will 2 Power, and as I saw the Will to Power I willed for the Will to Love. I saw something noticeable which made me see something I previously hadn’t noticed which drew my attention to something I cannot see.’
Is this a proof that would be acceptable to the dyed-in-the-wool fact-heads? What presumptuous optimism.
The Will to Power is real. The Will to Love is real. Each of us, me included, has to choose , minute by minute, hour by hour, which one of these defines our life. Science has nothing to do with it. Religion has nothing to do with it. It is a personal decision; the courage to be … as Tillich would describe it.
I don’t think Jesus was a big C Christian. When he said I am the way, the truth, the life, and no-one gets to the Father except through me, I think he was telling it straight. I loath toxic Christians, in the same way as I loath any form of certainty. I admire those people of all Faiths and Nations whose will to love is central to their lives. They know the way to the Noun is through the Verb.
That’s how we stop the Clifford’s Towers springing up across this dangerous planet of ours, by not building them first within our own hearts.
That’s how we prove God.